I usually write my movie reviews on my http://snicholsblog.blogspot.com/ personal blog, not here at the Center for Spiritual Living, Davis. But today, I want to share with you some thoughts on the documentary, RBG, about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in theaters now. I loved it. I was in tears during most of it. If Justice Ginsburg isn’t our philosophy of change your thinking, change your life in action, I don’t know what is.
Seeing the movie, I learned that Ginsburg is the embodiment of the American dream. Born in 1933 (the same year as my mother, with whom I saw RBG) in Brooklyn, daughter of Jewish immigrants who never had the opportunity to go to college, she made her way to Cornell University and met her husband–by the movie accounts, an extraordinary man. When everything around her in the 1950s told her that women were mothers and homemakers, not lawyers, she, with her husband’s full-throated support, followed him into Harvard Law School– one of only 9 women in a class of more than 500. She worked. She focused her mind on what she could do, not what she could not do. She raised their 2 year old and took care of her cancer-ridden husband while studying every night for law school, and while also doing her husband’s law school homework!
But the best part comes after that, as she modeled herself after the great Justice Thurgood Marshall by working with the ACLU to pursue case after case to slowly create a new body of law that interpreted the 14th amendment of the Constitution (passed to guarantee citizenship and the full protection of the laws to African-Americans recently emancipated from slavery) as guaranteeing equal rights to women as well.
The movie, with sweet interviews with the hard-working, hard-exercising, 84 year old Justice who has become a hero of the millennials (“the Notorious RBG”), inspires all of us, regardless of political beliefs, to reach deep within ourselves and be the absolute best we can be–to create, as this week’s CSL theme suggests–a spiritual chain reaction in the world.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg has done that. In fact, we all do. The trick, as I’ll talk more about this Sunday, is consciously creating the chain reaction we want, rather than the train wreck reactions we often can create.